Special to the Independent
Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray joined Everett Mayor Carlo DeMaria Jr., and state and local officials last Thursday to break ground on the $2 million Air Force Road improvement and expansion project, which will advance the larger RiverGreen Business Park Project, and has the potential to create up to 55 construction jobs and 500 permanent jobs for the City of Everett.
“As we focus on job creation and regional economic development, investing in infrastructure improvements in communities across the state, including our Gateway Cities, provides municipalities with the tools needed to lay the foundation for business growth,” said Lt. Governor Murray. “Infrastructure improvements on Air Force Road will open up access to the RiverGreen Business Park and unlock opportunities for private investment and job creation in the City of Everett and the region.”
“This is a great beginning for Everett, especially as one of the Commonwealth’s Gateway Cities. I’m truly appreciative of Governor Patrick. Lt. Governor Murray and Secretary Bialecki’s confidence in not only this project, but in the future success of Everett,” said Everett Mayor Carlo DeMaria. “This development will bring great jobs, more tax revenue and solidify the great partnership Everett, my fellow Mayors in the Mystic Valley Development Corporation and Berkeley Green LLC have with the Commonwealth.”
The construction on Air Force Road, which supports Phase 1 of the RiverGreen Business Park project, will include new pavement for travel lanes and shoulders, new curbing, new sidewalk, a roadway drainage system, street lighting and streetscape. The Air Force Road project is expected to be completed by the end of 2011 and will be constructed at the same time that Berkeley Green LLC is moving forward with Phase 1 of the RiverGreen Business Park. Phase 1 includes the construction of a parking lot for Boston Coach, improvements to RiverGreen Drive, new drainage and the capping of old GE brownfields. The RiverGreen Business Park is a 500,000 square foot, 5 phase project located within the Everett side of the Rivers Edge Growth District. Land in both Malden and Medford directly across the Malden River is also part of the Rivers Edge Growth District. Last October, Lt. Governor Murray visited RiverGreen to announce Everett’s inclusion of the Rivers Edge Growth District, as well as, the Massworks grant to fund improvements on Air Force Road. The MassWorks Infrastructure Program was created by the Patrick-Murray Administration to provide a one-stop shop for municipalities seeking public infrastructure funding to support housing, economic and community development opportunities.
“This groundbreaking marks a great day for the City of Everett,” said Senator Sal DiDomenico. “The construction and redevelopment of this land will attract new businesses, spur economic growth and most importantly, it will create jobs for residents in our community.”
“This project will improve access to this area in Everett, making development more feasible and access to the park easier for our residents,” said Rep. Stephen Stat Smith. “The construction that will take place also will provide jobs in our community both in the short and long term.”
“RiverGreen Business Park represents a shining example of how a public private partnership between the State, local municipality and private sector can transform an undesirable brownfield into a productive economic use providing for jobs, tax revenue and new recreational space,” said Young Park CEO of Berkeley Green LLC. “The Grant from the State of Air Force Road unlocked the potential for these 40 acres and enabled us to launch Phase 1 of the development. We are very excited to be part of the team.”
The Lieutenant Governor’s visit to Everett today continues the Patrick-Murray Administration’s tour of recent investments in the Commonwealth’s Gateway Cities. The Administration has implemented the following strategy to make the state’s 24 Gateway communities centers of economic activity:
*Make long-term investments in education, innovation and infrastructure, with special attention to the growth potential of each city’s entrepreneurs and small businesses;
*Leverage the potential of each community’s distinctive assets, including their educational, medical and cultural institutions, and their historic buildings and neighborhoods; and
Connect Gateway Cities to other local, state and global centers of innovation and economic activity.
In keeping with this strategy, the Patrick-Murray Administration has made the following Gateway City investments:
• $1,855,536,592 in Chapter 70 Education Funding and Unrestricted Local Aid in 2009
• Over $1 billion in active construction contracts through MassDOT
• $12,198,550 in Gateway City Parks grants for park projects in 22 cities
• $97,724,534 since 2007 in public safety grants for police and fire departments and non-profit agencies to maintain staffing levels and combat violence
• $17,484,882 since 2007 in Workforce Training Grants
Cabinet secretaries and Administration officials will continue to travel across the state in the coming weeks in highlight how these investments and others are making a difference in the Commonwealth’s Gateway Cities.